Miftah – Latest News – The Nation

ISLAMABAD – Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Miftah Ismail said on Saturday that the goals set in the 2022-23 annual budget are to achieve fiscal consolidation and relieve the masses from the rate of inflation.

He also said that preparing the budget was the hardest thing to do as the country is going through a very critical phase. “I have never seen a more difficult time in the last 30 years where there are global challenges on the one hand and nothing has been done by the government or the administration on the other,” said the Minister of Finance during the post-budget press conference. with Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurengzab, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha here.

The minister once again criticized the former government for granting oil and electricity subsidies. “In violation of agreements signed with the IMF, the previous government provided fuel subsidies in February, March of this year. However, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made tough decisions for the good of the country. Now the country has been left with no other option but tough decisions. He further said that the government had taken tough decisions to avoid a Sri Lanka-like situation in Pakistan.

Sharing the details of the budget, Miftah Ismail informed that the government has decided to limit the budget deficit to Rs 4.598 billion in the next financial year. He criticized the previous government for recording the country’s four highest budget deficits in the past four years.

The Imran Khan-led government had borrowed 20 trillion rupees during his one-quarter to four-year tenure, equivalent to 80% of the total debt incurred since the days of Liaqat Ali, Khawaja Nazim-u- Din, Ayub Khan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif up to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Heavy borrowing has raised debt service to 3.95 trillion rupees for the next financial year from 1.5 trillion rupees in 2018.

The finance minister said the government has set a tax collection target of 7 trillion rupees and a non-tax collection target of 2 trillion rupees, bringing overall revenue to 9 trillion rupees . The government would transfer Rs 4 trillion to the four provinces under the National Finance Commission (NFC) allotment and pay Rs 4 trillion in debt service, leaving only Rs 1 trillion at the center to manage other expenditures, including civilian government expenditures, defense budget, development budget and grants. We have reduced our expenses as well as subsidies on electricity and gas to reduce deficits.

Miftah Ismail said that the government has strengthened the budget for the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) and that it has been increased by 35-40%. He said flour, sugar and ghee will be supplied at reduced rates to Utility Stores Corporation throughout the year. He added that palm oil prices have increased in the international market. However, the government has allocated 20 billion rupees in the budget to promote the cultivation of oilseeds.

He said the IMF was not happy that Pakistan was giving relief to the working class in the budget. The government would bring 2.5 million traders into the tax net this year under the fixed income and sales tax system for retailers. The tax on small retailers will range from Rs3,000 to Rs10,000 and will be levied on their electricity bills.

Miftah Ismail said that we have imposed additional taxes on wealthy people while efforts have been made to reduce personal income tax. He said that Pakistan is a worthy nuclear power state and we will have to correct the course of our economy. Particular emphasis is placed on strengthening our exports, expressing confidence that these will reach 35 billion dollars in the next financial year, he added.

| Finance Minister Says Government Has Decided To Limit Budget Deficit To Rs4.598tr | No other choice but to take “difficult decisions” to avoid the economic crisis | Admits oil tax could increase inflation
| Target set to bring 2.5 million traders into the tax net | Government must approach other states for loans, packages and deposits

Talking about the power sector, the finance minister informed that the government had paid subsidies of Rs 1.1 trillion to the power sector and losses of Rs. during the outgoing fiscal year. “We produce 30 to 35 rupees per unit of electricity,” he said, saying they have the most efficient power generation plants in the world. But poor administration, flaws in the tariff setting system, transmission and distribution losses and declining bill collection were the main reasons for the high rate of electricity generation. The country’s economy cannot afford such a loss, he added.

He said subsidies of 400 billion rupees have been given to the gas sector. Circular debt in the gas sector has accumulated to Rs 1.4 trillion. He said the government would announce new gas tariffs, which would be competitive with countries in the region. He assured that the government will not allow any factory to close as it provides jobs to the people. The government faces losses in the gas sector, he said, adding that it is unclear whether the gas is stolen or evaporates. He claimed that approximately $2.4 billion of gas from SSGC goes unaccounted for each year.

He answered a question the Prime Minister would set up as a task force on the leaking of three trillion fiscal rupees from the system.

He admitted that inflation could increase following the decision to levy a tax on petroleum, as the government had planned to generate 750 billion rupees from the tax. He also informed that the government would speed up the privatization process. He did not answer the question on the rate of the dollar on which the government had established its budget. As part of the government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices, deserving people will start receiving Rs 2,000 from June, he said.

The finance minister said it was not his priority to bring charges against the former leaders. “Imran Khan and his team were not only incompetent, they were involved in corruption,” he said.

Miftah Ismail said he introduced a new dispute resolution mechanism to resolve cases involving the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). Under the new mechanism, the FBR would select an arbitrator and the plaintiff would select one and these two candidates would select the third individual who would act as arbitrator. “The decision will be based on the majority,” he said, adding that this would help address concerns raised by the business community.

State Finance Minister Aisha Ghaus Pasha said our goal is to ensure economic stability and bring the country to a path of growth. She said the philosophy of the budget in these difficult times had been to put a minimum burden on the common man. He said that we give aid to the common man and that includes the cash amount of two thousand rupees to deserving families.

Aisha Ghaus Pasha said subsidies were given to farmers to improve agricultural productivity and reduce the food import bill. She said reducing the budget deficit and not imposing indirect taxes are anti-inflationary measures that have been taken to protect the poor.

The minister said the government administration had caused huge damage to the national economy and brought it to the brink of collapse, which forced the coalition government to come up with a tough budget.

He said that if this maladministration is not corrected in a timely manner, it will wreak further havoc and that is why the incumbent government must come up with such a budget to address these issues.

Miftah said there was a need to fix the country administratively, otherwise its economy would go unmanaged. “We have to go to other countries for loans, packages and deposits. Pakistan is a proud country, a country of proud people, a nuclear-powered country, and we will have to fix our economy,” he said. “We should not incur such expenses that we cannot afford.”

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